LA VISTA, Neb. — A former employee at the Oriental Trading Co. has been sentenced to prison for leaving a noose on a floor scrubber that a Black colleague was set to use.

The Nebraska U.S. Attorney’s office said Bruce Quinn, 66, was sentenced Friday to four months in prison and one year of supervised release for leaving the noose for his coworker to find. He pleaded guilty in September to a federal civil rights violation.

Prosecutors said a 63-year-old Black man who worked for Oriental Trading found the noose made out of orange twine sitting on the seat of the equipment in June 2020. He told investigators that he was scared by the noose and viewed it as a death threat.

“Federal courts have long recognized the noose as one of the most vile symbols in American history,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Individuals, like this defendant, who use a noose to convey a threat of violence at a workplace will be held accountable for their actions.”

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